How to Find Niche Markets

Learning how to find niche markets is a key skill if you want to make money online. Your ability to choose niche markets and build businesses around them will have a very direct effect on how much you can earn as an Internet marketer.

Finding good niche markets to target is a skill which is really an art and a science at the same time. It combines the ability to analyze and interpret numbers with using your creative mind to think of potential ways of making money.

Find Niche Markets: Start with Your Passions

Many would-be online entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking finding a niche market is only about the numbers a keyword tool spits out. If you start a business based on numbers alone you're unlikely to experience optimal success. This is because there needs to be an element of knowledge and passion for you when you find niche markets.

If you find niche markets you know nothing about or which really don't interest you at all, you're going to have a hard time succeeding because you simply won't have the passion you need to put the hours into making your business work. That's why, although numbers are extremely important, you need to have both good numbers and a topic you're passionate about (or at least interested in) to be successful.

Find Niche Markets: Check the Numbers

So once you've chosen a few topics you have a passion or interest in, then you can start crunching numbers using a keyword tool. There are many keyword tools out there and they differ quite a bit in terms of their accuracy and effectiveness.

You can use the Google Keyword Tool to get started, but there's a big problem with this tool: although it gives you search numbers, it doesn't give you any stats to indicate how competitive a keyword will be when you're trying to rank at the search engines. To create an intelligent keyword list and find an Internet niche with a lot of “low hanging fruit” (keyword which have good demand but low competition) you'll need to use a more advanced tool.

Find Niche Markets: Niche Tools

Site Build It is a complete web business creation package which includes a keyword research tool that gives you information on search demand, competition and a variety of other factors. This is a handy tool because it's grouped in with all the other tools you need for your web business in the SBI package.

In terms of standalone keyword research tools there are a handful of good ones. Market Samurai provides detailed and fairly accurate data, although it tends to have a lot of software bugs and requires frequent updating. Other options include Traffic Travis, Micro Niche Finder and Brad Callen's Niche Finder.

In any case, regardless of which tool you use you should be trying to find niche markets where you have a lot of related keywords with good numbers. What qualifies as “good numbers”? Well first of all, you need search demand. There needs to be a high number of people searching for that term on Google. There also needs to be low competition (or at least beatable competition).

Another factor you need to think about is the commercial potential of the keyword – does it indicate a searcher wants to buy something, or are they just after free information?

One warning: when you're looking at keywords using a keyword tool with a match-type filter, like the free Google Keyword Tool, always set the match type to exact. This will give you the most accurate idea of how many searches each term gets. If you look at Broad Match numbers, you'll get an inflated view of how many people are searching on the keyword each month. That's inevitably going to lead to a disappointing amount of real visitor traffic coming to your website. It's always best to assume the numbers you're seeing are higher than what you're really going to get – that way you won't be disappointed.

Another good point to keep in mind is that the search numbers you see are not the same as the actual number of visitors you'll get from a keyword phrase, even if you get a number 1 ranking for that phrase. The number one spot still only gets, on average, around 40-60% of the total search traffic for that term. So when you're looking at raw exact match search numbers, divide that number in half and you'll get a general idea of how much traffic you'd get with a number 1 ranking for that term.

Find Niche Markets: Arrange the Sub-Topics

Once you've found a bunch of related keywords with good numbers, you need to organize them into a logical framework. Ideally you want to group your keywords together into sub-topics under your main niche heading. So, for example, you main niche keyword might be “golf.” Sub topics might then be:

  • golf gear
  • golf tips
  • golf techniques
  • golf clothing

And so on. You'd then find other keywords that relate to each of your sub-topics – so you might have 10 keywords related to “golf gear,” 10 related to “golf tips,” and so on. This allows you to organize your site into a logical structure. This structure is not only good for human visitors, it will also help your website rank better at the search engines.

If you're struggling to find sub-topics and related keywords with good enough numbers within your Internet niche, it may simply mean that the niche you've chosen is too small and there's not enough demand out there. Try expanding your niche idea to something more general – for example, you could go from “German Shepherd puppy training” up to “puppy training” in general.

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